Title A Murder Is Forever
Two-Sentence Summary The murder of a relationship expert leads to discoveries about the secrets of elite power couples and one very large diamond. Meanwhile, Castle and Beckett struggle to find a balance between their individual stories and the story they’re telling together.
Favorite Line “I actually like those elephants. They obviously have family values, and this one’s good with money.” (Castle)
My Thoughts “A Murder Is Forever” was the big debut for Castle’s other husband-and-wife producing/writing team, Dara and Chad Creasey. And for a first outing as writers, I have to applaud them. Not only did they get the unique tone of the show right from start to finish, they did a great job of incorporating all of the characters from the 12th precinct and balancing the Castle/Beckett relationship with the plot. All in all, it was one of the most balanced episodes of the season, and it makes me excited for what’s to come from this pair.
The case itself was full of the twists and turns one expects from Castle. I honestly didn’t guess who the killer was until about a second before the show revealed it, and those are my favorite Castle cases—the ones that keep me guessing until the end. This twist made sense, and it provided for another of my favorite Castle viewing experiences: when the camera lingers on the real killer for just enough time for us to put the pieces together.
This episode was about dominance in relationships and what happens when there’s a shift in dominance. The killer lived her life as the less dominant half of a “power couple,” or so it seemed. But murder was her way of not just reasserting her husband’s dominance in the diamond game but asserting some sense of dominance in her marriage.
The discussion of dominance was reflected in a different way by all of the scenes in the interrogation room, the place that Beckett owns—her home, her territory. The episode ended with Castle stating that they’re both Alphas, and never is Beckett’s Alpha status more evident than when she’s in the interrogation room. Stana Katic absolutely killed those scenes in this episode; her controlled fire is always a great sight to behold.
Ryan and Esposito also got to play around with the theme of dominance in a great scene that showed them arguing over who had the most masculine energy in their dynamic duo. (And I’m sorry, Esposito, I, for one, happen to love Ryan in his sweater vest.) These two got to take the lead in a number of scenes in this episode, and I was so happy for it. I feel like the D.C. arc and the Alexis arc took the attention away from the precinct for a while, and I’ve missed my favorite TV bromance getting its time in the spotlight. And I’m serious about the bromance thing: No male friendship on TV feels as natural as this one. Jon Huertas and Seamus Dever are perfect scene partners.
I always love Castle episodes that weave the case and the Castle/Beckett relationship together with ease, and that’s exactly what “A Murder Is Forever” did so well. Castle and Beckett’s interactions in this episode were a playful battle of wills that ended with a new sense of equality between them.
The opening banter about Linus the Lion (Best name ever or best name ever?) was pitch perfect for these two characters. It was nice to see them in bed together, having a conversation and subsequent clash of opinions that happens for all couples when they start moving towards cohabitation. Castle has always liked strong women, but he’s never been with a woman as strong or as independent as Beckett, and it’s realistically taking some getting used to. Katic brought a real feisty energy to Beckett in this episode, sharp and sassy in the best sense. Her line about letting Castle into her territory was a delicious little innuendo, and Nathan Fillion had the perfect reaction to it. The two of them played off each other especially well in this episode, bantering with characteristic ease infused with a nice spark of tension.
I loved that the tension was playful rather than a serious impediment to their relationship. It’s nice to see that, after five seasons of worrying that any little thing could drive a wedge between them and cause walls to come back up, they’re beyond that and interacting with a real sense of certainty and confidence. Although I am ready for Beckett to officially move into the loft sometime soon or at least to have an episode exploring why she hasn’t yet. There’s a story to be told there, and I’m ready for that next step to be taken (and I think the characters are, too).
In the end, Castle was right: They’re both Alphas, and that’s what makes this relationship so inspiring. Castle loves that Beckett is a dominant personality, but he’s no doormat. They’re both attracted to each other’s strength. They’re both people who never needed another person to complete them, but they chose to share their lives with each other. And that’s more romantic to me than any speech about someone being unable to live without a romantic partner. By putting up the seashells and moving Linus, Castle showed Beckett that he values the life they’re building together. No, he’s not going to change everything in his room for her, but she would never ask him to do that. They’re equals, partners writing a new story together while still honoring the fact that they each have their own stories, too. That’s such a great analogy (and so fitting for Castle as a writer and Beckett as a fan of his books). We all are writing our own stories, but finding real love is about finding someone you want to write a story with.
I think Beckett said it best: “I like our story.” So do I, Beckett. So do I.